Edgar Wright has very soft hands.
It says a lot about the director of Scott Pilgrim vs the World, that I know this. Not that he’s a man that doesn’t work hard, and is somehow "soft." It shows that he the type of director who loves his audience and not just their money.
I fell in love with Edgar Wright’s work not with the ever popular Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but the two season series Spaced. If you haven’t seen this British sitcom, request it on Netflix or just go buy it at your local electronic mega store; well worth the time if you’ve remotely enjoyed Wright’s other works.
Scott Pilgrim vs the World is something completely different for Wright to take on. There’s already a following here. There are people who fell in love with book one and now that book six is out, see it as an end of an era. Wright is used to starting from scratch, using general ideas that people already know and pop-culture references to bond with his audience. Wright might have stumbled in this restraint of plot, jokes and general mood of the series but he grabs on and runs with what Bryan Lee O’Malley has made.
The first three-fourths of the movie sticks to the plot of the books. The sometimes jolting scene changes are true to the books and keeps with the over arcing mood that this is a story told by a 20-something boy. It’s a memory being told, not a current story taking place.
The music is dead on to what fans of the books wanted; Sex Bob-omb rocked, Crash and the Boys were just as ridiculous, and Clash at Demonhead was spot on with rocker-sell-outs. It didn’t hurt that the soundtrack featured Beck as Sex Bob-Bomb and Mertic as Clash at Demonhead.
The casting was inspired. If you’ve never read the books just go flip through one, you’ll recognize every single character. Michael Cera is surprising well cast as Scott, he still has a lot of the tried and true Michael Cera personality. But he also lets his passion for music shine and that is a lot of what the series was about. Another character to point out for casting alone is Aubrey Plaza as Julie. Julie is more outspoken in the movie than in the book series but Plaza is spot on for this bitchy socialite.
Like all comic books turned into movies the story differs a bit but Wright once again makes it work. I wasn’t disappointed by the changes; they had to be done for the sake of the movie. But as always, the book is better than the movie.
My recommendation? If you haven’t read the books, go see the movie first and then read them. If you already have, remember many things do not translate well to the screen but it’s still Scott
Pilgrim up there.